On this International Women’s Day, I write this to honor the courage, the love, and the hope I have witnessed of so many women through my work at Embrace. I write this to acknowledge the millions of women in this world who have lost a baby, who have endured one of the most painful experiences imaginable.
Over the last few years I’ve spent in India, I know that a mother, no matter how poor or impoverished, will do anything to save her child. And yet millions of babies still die every year around the world. Because despite their best efforts, these mothers simply don’t have access to healthcare or life-saving technologies.
I am often asked if there is a woman whom I admire. There is, and she’s not a Nobel laureate or global CEO. The woman is Sujatha, a mother from a village in south India. Sujatha lost all 3 of her babies, one after another. One of her babies was two months premature, and I suspect all of her babies suffered from hypothermia.
When we showed Sujatha the Embrace Infant Warmer, she wept and said, “maybe if I had this, I could have saved my baby.” Her grief was so deep, even seven years after she had lost her children. She then said, “the world is apathetic to the birth and death of a child. It is the mother who carries the emotional burden.”
And yet rather than being swallowed by this grief, she didn’t give up her hope of becoming a mother. She, instead, adopted a baby girl. Greater yet, Sujatha uses her own experiences to educate and help other women in her village, and is now working with Embrace to ensure we can prevent these deaths from happening in the future, by helping us refine our product and get it into the hands of the women who need it. The last time I saw her, I told Sujataha that her strength gives me the strength to do my work.
Jane, Sujatha and her little girl.
Sujatha is shining example of a woman making a difference in the lives of other women, despite the tragedy she has experienced. My hope is that all of us can play a role in empowering and helping women less fortunate than ourselves. Because at a fundamental level, we all share the same courage, love and hope to make the world a better place.
Jane Chen, Embrace’s Co-founder.